Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [Book Review]

Brave New World contains viewpoints and ideas that I have never read before. Even among others with a dystopian setting this rings as unique even in the 80 or so years since it has been published.

In Brave New World Ford (as in Henry Ford) is their God. God is dead among the civilized and those that do believe are in the remaining quarantined areas (where people happen to vacation) that aren’t civilized. These are places of savagery where people don’t bathe and still have sex to procreate.

Among the civilized sex is purely for pleasure and the idea of a parent is viewed as horrifying. Babies come from bottles and aren’t born but instead are decanted.

These are the facts.

Everything is easy (as it should be) and without hardship there is no war. Any moment of unhappiness is premeditated and happiness is controlled with a drug called soma. Everything old is taboo because no one would or could understand where it came from. It conflicts with new ideas so it is instead thrown away.

I loved the themes and found the sense of irony refreshing. My favorite chapter was early in the book where the Director is explaining how things work (how babies are made, conditioned, etc.) interspersed with the introduction to Lenina and Bernard (two of the main characters).

What I didn’t like was the flow of the book. It often felt disjointed with lengthy descriptions that reiterated the same points over and over again. Though the writing style was easier to follow than anticipated I still felt lost at times.

I couldn’t help compare to 1984 which was better constructed and written. I’ll definitely reread Brave New World somewhere down the line but for now I’m left with a very middle of the road experience.


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